2011 NFL Week 11 Remix by Lloyd Vance

In the Week 11 Remix, the undefeated Green Packers (10-0) continued their march back to the playoffs and possibly a return trip to the Super Bowl, with a solid win over the pesky Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  One of the game’s biggest plays was QB Aaron Rodgers hitting emerging WR Jordy Nelson for a 40-yard game-clinching touchdown.

With only six weeks left in the NFL Season, the intensity has surely picked-up around the league.  With America’s holiday, Thanksgiving , upon us there are 24 teams with records ranging from 4-6 to 10-0 hoping to be thankful for one of the NFL’s 12 coveted playoff berths come this January.  But there is still is a lot of football left to be played and as shown by earlier season upsets  — Rams over the Saints and the Jaguars over the Ravens — nothing is guaranteed.  So every NFL team better be prepared weekly as the separation into “Contenders” and “Pretenders” continues.

In looking at the current NFL standings here’s the breakdown: The “Elite” – Packers (10-0), Niners (9-1), Patriots (7-3), Steelers (7-3), Ravens (7-3), Saints (7-3), Texans (7-3), Bears (7-3), and Lions (7-3); “Stuck in the Middle” inconsistent teams, who are caught in the NFL’s parity-filled middle and need to either join the playoff hunt or fall back — Raiders (6-4), Giants (6-4), Cowboys (6-4), Falcons (6-4), Broncos (5-5), Bills (5-5), NY Jets (5-5), Titans (5-5), Eagles (4-6), and Seahawks (4-6); The “Pretenders”, who are only a shade away from the league’s bottom rung – Bucs (4-6), Chargers (4-6), Chiefs (4-6), and Browns (4-6); and lastly the “Ugly” (See at the 2012 NFL Draft) – Redskins (3-7), Jaguars (3-7), Cardinals (3-7), Dolphins (3-7), Panthers (2-7), Vikings (2-7), Rams (2-7), and Colts (0-10)

 “Next Man Up” time around the NFL

 Bears LS Patrick Manelly (ACL- I/R)

Bears QB Jay Cutler (Thumb)

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (knee, foot)

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (high ankle)

Bills RB Fred Jackson (bruised calf)

Bills WR Donald Jones (ankle)

Titans Matt Hasselbeck (elbow)

Cardinals DT Dan Williams (broken arm)

Packers RB James Starks (sprained right knee)

Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (neck)

Bills CB Terrence McGee (left leg)

NY Jets RB Shonn Greene (ribs)

 Week 11 Games

Thursday Nov. 17

Broncos (5-5) over Jets (5-5), 17-13…In a very ugly win, 2nd-yr QB Tim Tebow leads DEN on a 95-yard drive to win the game…. NY Jets lose RB Shonn Greene early to a rib injury and never find their offense…NYJ QB Mark Sanchez throws a Pick-6 that keepsDenver in the game…Tebow throws a ton of passes low and outside… Timmy Terrific does it with his legs as he scores the GW on a 20-yard tough TD run…DEN is 1-game behind OAK w/ 6 to play

Sunday Nov. 20

Ravens (7-3) over Bengals (6-4), 31-24… Flacco powers Ravens intoAFC North lead…Great game whereBAL had to hold on at the end — got to theBaltimore 7 in the final minute… Big game for TE Dickson, rookie WR Torrey Smith (six catches for 165 yards), and RB Ray Rice (2 TDs)…Another solid game for veterans Ed Reed (1INT) and NT Haloti Ngata…BAL takes overAFC North lead even w/o Ray Lewis… Next-up Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving Night as the red-hot Niners and head coach Jim take on BAL’s John

Dolphins (3-7) over Bills (5-5), 35-8…For the 3rd game in a row, MIA held the opposition without a TD…. Dolphins win their 3rd straight game after an 0-7 start… Another solid game for RB Reggie Bush… Dolphins definitely have found a spark with new QB Matt Moore… Young Dolphins are playing tough for on the hot seat HC Tony Sparano

Packers (10-0) over Buccaneers (4-6), 35-26… Packers improve to 10-0 for the first time since 1962 as they hold-off Bucs…TB had too many turnovers and tried to comeback too late…Josh Freeman has up-and-down day (342 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs)…Rodgers has a solid business-like game (3 TDs to give him NFL -leading 31)… Rodgers hits WR Jordy Nelson with 2 TDs including long game-clincher… GB might have lost RB James Starks for some time (knee)… Next-up for the undefeated Packers is a highly anticipated Thanksgiving game at DET against the Lions (7-3)… Packers remaining schedule is @DET (THANX), @NYG, OAK, @KC, CHI, DET

Cowboys (6-4) over Redskins (3-7), 27-24 in OT…. Romo 18-2 in November…Romo has 5th straight game with a 100 QB rating…Redskins kicker Graham Gano (see Lackey) misses a potential game-winner in OT…Dallas rookie K Dan Bailey sneaks in a 39-yd FG for the win in OT…Dallas now leads NFC East… Romo hits TE Jason Witten for a huge catch and TD run… Another good game for rookie RB DeMarco Murray…DAL pass rusher DeMarco Ware provides constant heat on Redskins QB Rex Grossman… big game for WAS WR Jabar Gaffney…DAL plays MIA on Thursday in their annual Thanksgiving Day Game

Browns (4-6) over Jaguars (3-7), 14-10…CLE snapped a 2-game losing streak… In a “Who Cares” special, the Browns led by QB Colt McCoy and RB Chris Ogbonnaya (115 rushing yards)… Next-up is an Ohio grudge match with the Bengals

Lions (7-3) over Panthers (2-8), 49-35… DET became the 1st NFL team since at least 1950 to win three games in a season after trailing by at least 17 points… Another up-and-down performance by rookie QB Cam Newton (22-38, 280 yds, 1 TD, 4 INTs)… Stafford’s 5 TDs help Lions top Panthers….Lions down 27-14 at half…new running back Kevin Smith (16 rushes, 140 yds, 1 TD) gave the Lions a huge lift in his return NFL

Raiders (6-4) over Vikings (2-8), 27-21… Raiders top Vikings, Peterson injured…Oakland capitalized on several mistakes byMinnesota…. OAK RB Michael Bush rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown… Vikings RB Adrian Peterson left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle…Vikings QB Christian Ponder (19-33, 211 yds, 2 TDs, 3 INTs) tried unsuccessfully to mount a 4th qtr rally…. OAK has now won 2 games in a row….AFC West leaders have a 1-game lead with the schedule left CHI, @MIA, @GB, DET, @KC, SD

Falcons (6-4) over Titans (5-5), 23-17…. Falcons hold off Titans, Hasselbeck hurt… Matt Ryan looks early and often for WR Roddy White (seven receptions for a season-high 147 yards)… Ugly win forATL as their defense led by DE Jonathan Babineaux leads the way…rookie QB Jake Locker nearly leads TEN to an improbable comeback… Good game for Ryan, TE Tony Gonzalez and RB Michael Turner

SF 49ers (9-1) over Cardinals (3-7), 23-7… 49ers win eighth straight, blow by Cards… Niners Forced five turnovers…Alex Smith threw for 267 yards and two touchdown… John Skelton throws 3 INTs in the loss….SF can clinch with a win on Thanksgiving over BAL in the Harbaugh Bowl and a SEA loss in WK 12

Seahawks (4-6) over Rams (2-8), 24-7….Don’t look now, butSEA has a 2-game winning streak…Too bad too much too late as SF has a 5-game lead with 6 games to go…Sidney Rice has a big game (TD catch and drew a big PI)….DE Chris Clemons has 3 sacks of SEA’s five sacks

Bears (7-3) over Chargers (4-6), 31-20… CHI won their 5th game in a row, but, QB Cutler out 6 to 8 weeks (thumb)…Games talking game-by-game as Caleb Hanie takes over as the starter….Another good game for the Bears attacking defense…. Chargers 5th straight loss — longest streak since an 0-5 start in 2003… Philip Rivers has two late INTs… Bears lead WC race with 6 games to go

Eagles (4-6) over Giants (6-4), 17-10… Eagles snapped a 2-game losing streak…Giants have now lost 2 in a row since beating the Patriots… Undermanned Eagles top Giants on late TD… backup QB Vince Young (see Game Balls) leads Eagles on a 80-yard, 9 minute drive that breaks a 10-10 tie… LeSean Shady McCoy has another big game (113 yards, including 60 on a late game-clinching run)….WR DeSean Jackson return and shows his value and Pain-In-the-ass mature ways in the win… Eli Manning is sacked by DE Jason Babin and fumbles  to seal win…PHI mission impossible — need to win 6 streak to get to 10-6 and a chance to win NFC East — continue next at home against NE

Monday Nov. 21

Patriots (7-3) over Chiefs (4-6) 34-3, Patriots win their 2nd in a row while KC loses their 3rd in a row….KC started physical and fast, but everything quickly changed as Brady (2 TDs)and TE Rob Gronkowski (2 TDs) took control offensively…Poor “Weak Arm” Tyler Palko gets beat-up in his first career start…Patriots DB Kyle Arrington gets his NFL-leading 6th and 7th INTs of the season…PR Julian Edelman returns a punt for touchdown… Once they got a lead, the Pats ran the ball with BenJarvus Green-Ellis… Next up for NE is a big road test against the Eagles… Patriots remaining teams on schedule all have losing records…Gronkowski gets to 20 TDs faster than any TE knocking off HOF Mike Ditka

Byes: Colts (0-10), Saints (7-3), Steelers (7-3), Texans (7-3) 

  • Home teams had an incredible record of 10-4 in Week 11 including the Denver Broncos “Tebow-ing” their way to a tough comeback win over the stunned NY Jets on Thursday Night Football.  Visiting team winners wereDAL,PHI,SEA, and OAK

 

Game Balls

Philadelphia Eagles QB Vince Young — In a must-win situation, V.Y replaced starter Michael Vick (ribs), and led the desperate Eagles to a 17-10 win over the New York Giants (6-4) on Sunday Night Football –PHI had lost five games in the fourth quarter earlier this season.  Almost one year removed from a ton of drama in Tennessee with former coach Jeff Fisher,  Young remembered how to win a game ugly and now “Could there be” a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.  Whoa…. Let’s settle down a little bit, but the former college National Championship quarterback did a nice job in a much needed win.  After his biggest headline of the 2011 season was labeling the Eagles star-laden group “the dream team”, Young was able to deliver on the field.  His passing numbers of 23-36, 258 yds, 2 TDs, 3 very bad INTs and 69 QBR were not great, but he did put the Birds on his back in the fourth quarter when it mattered most. With the score tied at 10-10, Young put together an 80-yard, 18-play drive ending with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper on a 3rd-and-goal play with2:45 left. During the great drive, V.Y was able to convert five 3rd down situations, which have been Vick’s Achilles Heel this season. Incredibly Young only had 6 rushes for 5 yards for the game as his arm and brain led the way.  “I had a couple of jitters,” Young said. “It’s been a while. Overall, I started to calm and just let the game come to me.”

Honorable Mention: Cowboys QB Tony Romo, Broncos QB Tim Tebow, Eagles Defense, Raiders RB Michael Bush, Dolphins RB Reggie Bush, Bears CB Charles Tillman, Bears QB Jay Cutler, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers WR Jordy Nelson, Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski

 Lloyd’s Lackey

Washington Redskins kicker Graham Gano — “A Kicker, Being a Kicker”…..With a chance to send his team to a much-needed win, Gano missed a 52-yard field goal in overtime wide right that helped the Dallas Cowboys win on the road.  For the game, the formerFloridaState kicker was 1-for-3 (misses from 52 and 49) and offered little explanation for his big miss.  Gano said after the game, “Missed it. That’s it. No excuses”.  He added, “Just missed it. It felt good, but obviously wasn’t.” The overtime loss sent the NFC East basement dwelling Redskins to their 6th consecutive loss after they started the season at 3-1.

Dishonorable Mention: Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, Chargers QB Philip Rivers, NY Giants QB Eli Manning, Bucs QB Josh Freeman, Buffalo Bills, Chiefs QB Tyler Palko

Sandings Breakdown (Finally All Teams have played 10 games…Hurray all byes are now over!)

1 Team ….10-0 — Packers

1 Team…. 9-1 — Niners

7 Teams… 7-3 — Steelers, Saints, Texans, Bears, Patriots, Lions, Ravens

5 Teams…  6-4 –Bengals,NYGiants, Falcons, Cowboys, Raiders

4 Teams…. 5-5 — Bills, NY Jets, Titans, Broncos

6 Teams… 4-6 — Bucs, Chargers. Chiefs, Browns, Eagles, Seahawks

4 Teams…. 3-7 — Redskins, Jaguars, Cardinals, Dolphins

3 Teams … 2-8 — Panthers, Vikings, Rams

1 Team…..0-10 (AKA…Andrew Luck Sweepstakes) — Colts 

  • 13 Teams with winning records including one undefeated team (Packers, 10-0), other strong contenders [Niners (9-1), Steelers (7-3), Texans (7-3), and Patriots (7-3)], plus some absolutely surprises in the Bears and Lions (both 7-3)
  • 4 teams stuck at .500 with a record of 5-5 including the ascending Broncos and the falling-apart trio of the NY Jets, Bills, and Titans
  • 15 Teams with losing including surprises [Chargers (4-6), Bucs (4-6), Eagles (4-6) and the Manning-less Colts (0-10)]
  • 15 Teams stuck in the NFL’s Parity Wasteland (4-6 to 6-4)…. Can you say “Any Given Sunday”… It will interesting to see how these separate in “Contenders” and “Pretenders” in the coming weeks
  • After “big” Week 9 wins, NYJ, NYG, andCINall are mired in 2-game losing streaks
  • Remember 11-5 (2008 New England Patriots) or 10-6 (Bucs and NY Giants in 2010) does not guarantee making the playoffs

Division Leaders

AFC North — The Steelers (7-3) finally took their long-awaited bye and are now tied at the top of the division with the Ravens, who also are 7-3 and hold two head-to-head wins over P-Burgh.  The Bengals (6-4) are still in the mix too, but haven’t won since their big Week 9 win.

AFC South — The division-leading Texans (7-3 w/ 2-game lead) used their bye week to sit back and watch the Titans and Jags lose plus the hapless Colts were on a bye too. But now HOU must play w/o starter Matt Schaub (foot)

AFC West — This division is still the “Wild West”, even though the Raiders (6-4) still have a 1-game lead.  Behind OAK, the Tebow-resurgent Broncos are now fixing to catch the Raiders.  Next are reeling early season leaders, the Chargers and Chiefs (both 4-6).

AFC East — The Patriots (7-3) continued their business like approach by throttling the Chiefs on MNF.  Behind Brady and Company are the reeling “all-talk” NY Jets (5-5), Bills (coming back to Earth at 5-5), and the showing some heart Dolphins (3-7)

NFC North — The NFL’s last undefeated team stayed that way for another week as the defending SB Champion Packers (10-0) reaching the historic undefeated record for the first time since 1962 by outlasting the turnover-prone young Bucs.  After GB, the Bears and Lions (both 7-3) are fighting mad to be the NFC’s Wildcard teams

NFC South — The division-leading New Orleans Saints (7-3 with 1-game lead) relaxed during their bye and unsuccessfully wished for anATL loss.  After the division-leading Saints, the Falcons (6-4) continued to win ugly in hopes of catching theNew Orleans

NFC West — The Niners (9-1, with a 5-game lead) continued their march toward a division title with a quality win over the upset-minded Cardinals. San Francisco doesn’t have to worry about the Seahawks (4-6) catching them this season.

NFC East — The NY Giants (6-4) continued their flat play as the scrappy Eagles pulled off an upset win on SNF.  With the NYG loss, the Cowboys (6-4 and tied at the top of the NFC East) continued to get back in the division race with a huge overtime win.  Also don’t forget about Philly as the Dream Team has a record of 4-6

How 2010 NFL Playoff Teams are Faring

**Remember for 15 straight seasons there have been at least 5 new playoff teams**

AFC

Steelers (7-3)

Ravens (7-3)

Patriots (7-3)

NY Jets (5-5)

Chiefs (4-6)

Colts (0-10)

NFC

Packers (10-0)

Saints (7-3)

Bears (7-3)

Falcons (6-4)

Eagles (4-6)

Seahawks (4-6)

Current Winning Streaks

Packers — 12 in a row going back to 2010

Niners — 8 in a row

Bears — 5 in a row

Texans — 4 in a row

Cowboys — 3 in a row

Dolphins — 3 in a row

Broncos — 3 in a row

Raiders — 2 in a row

Saints — 2 in a row

Seahawks — 2 in a row

Patriots — 2 in a row

Current Losing Streaks

Colts — 10 in a row

Redskins — 6 in a row

Chargers — 5 in a row

Chiefs — 3 in a row

Panthers — 3 in a row

Bucs — 3 in a row

Vikings — 2 in a row

Bills — 2 in a row

NY Jets — 2 in a row

NY Giants — 2 in a row

Bucs — in 2 in a row

Bengals — 2 in a row

Upcoming schedules

NFC

ARI(3-7) —   @STL,DAL, SF,CLE, @CIN,SEA

ATL(6-4)  —   MIN, @HOU, @CAR,JAX, @NO, TB

CAR(2-8) —    @IND, @TB,ATL, @HOU, TB, @NO

CHI (7-3)  —     @OAK, KC, @DEN,SEA, @GB, @MIN

DAL(6-4) —     MIA (THANX), @ARI, NYG, @TB,PHI, @NYG

DET (7-3) —     GB (THANX), @NO, MIN, @OAK, SD, @GB

GB (10-0) —      @DET (THANX), @NYG, OAK, @KC, CHI, DET

MIN (2-8) —    @ATL, DEN, @DET, NO, @WAS, CHI

NO (7-3) —      NYG (MNF), DET, @TEN, @MIN,ATL,CAR

NYG (6-3) —    @NO (MNF), GB, @DAL, WAS, @NYJ,DAL

PHI(4-6)  —     NE, @SEA(TNF), @MIA, NYJ, @DAL, WAS

SEA(4-6) —    WAS,PHI(TNF),STL, @CHI, SF, @ARI

SF (9-1) —    @BAL(THANX),STL, @ARI, PIT, @SEA, @STL

STL(2-8) — ARI, @SF, @SEA,CIN, @PIT, SF

TB (4-6) —  @TEN,CAR, @JAX,DAL, @CAR, @ATL

WAS (3-7) —   @SEA,NYJ,NE, @NYG, MIN, @PHI 

 

AFC

BAL(7-3) — SF (THANX), @CLE,IND, @SD,CLE, @CIN

BUF (5-5) — @NYJ,TEN, @SD, MIA, DEN, @NE

CIN(6-4) –CLE, @PIT, HOU, @STL,ARI,BAL

CLE(4-6)  — @CIN,BAL, @PIT, @ARI, @BAL, PIT

DEN (5-5) — @SD, @MIN, CHI, NE, @BUF, KC

HOU (7-3) — @JAX,ATL. @CIN,CAR, @IND,TEN

IND(0-10)  –CAR, @NE, @BAL,TEN, HOU, @JAX

JAX(3-7)  —   HOU,SD, TB, @ATL, @TEN,IND

KC (4-6) —   PIT (SNF), @CHI, @NYJ, GB, OAK, @DEN

MIA (3-7) — @DAL(THANX), OAK,PHI, @BUF, @NE, NYJ

NE  (7-3) — @PHI,IND, @WAS, @DEN, MIA, BUF

NYJ (5-5) — BUF, @WAS, KC, @PHI, NYG, @MIA

OAK (6-4) — CHI, @MIA, @GB, DET, @KC, SD

PIT  (7-3) — @KC (SNF),CIN,CLE, @SF,STL, @CLE

SD (4-6) — DEN, @JAX, BUF,BAL, @DET, @OAK

TEN(5-5) — TB, @BUF, NO, @IND,JAX, @HOU

 Week 11 Leaders

Passing

1. A. DaltonCIN  373 yds (L)

2. J. Freeman TB  342 yds (L)

3. M. Stafford DET  335 yds (w)

4. M. RyanATL  316 yds (w)

5. A. Rodgers GB  299 yds (w)

Rushing

1. K. Smith DET  140 yds (w)

2. C. OgbonnayaCLE  115 yds (w)

3. L. McCoyPHI  113 yds (w) 

4. M. Bush OAK  109 yds  (w) 

5. L. Blount TB  107 yds (L)

 Receiving

1. V. Jackson SD  165 yds (L)

1. T. SmithBAL  165 yds (w)

3. J. SimpsonCIN  152 yds (L)

4. R. WhiteATL  147 yds (w)

5. K. Winslow TB  132 yds (L)

TDs   

1. M. Stafford DET  5 TDs (w)

2. T. RomoDAL  3 TDs – OT  (w)

2. K. Smith DET  3 TDs (w)

2. A. Rodgers GB  3 TDs (w) — tied with 4 other players

Looking Ahead to Week 12

Thursday November 24 — Thanksgiving

Packers (10-0) at Lions (7-3)12:30PM ET(FOX)

Dolphins (3-7) at Cowboys (6-4)4:15PM ET(CBS)

49ers (9-1) at Ravens (7-3)8:20PM ET(NFL Network)

Sunday November 27

Bills (5-5) at Jets (5-5)1:00PM ET(CBS)

Browns (4-6) at Bengals (6-4)1:00PM ET(CBS)

Buccaneers (4-6) at Titans (5-5)1:00PM ET(FOX)

Cardinals (3-7) at Rams (2-8) 1:00PM ET (FOX)

Panthers (2-8) at Colts (0-10)1:00PM ET(FOX)

Texans (7-3) at Jaguars (3-7) 1:00PM ET (CBS)

Vikings (2-8) at Falcons (6-4)1:00PM ET(FOX)

Bears (7-3) at Raiders (6-4)4:05PM ET(FOX)

Redskins (3-7) at Seahawks (4-6) 4:05PM ET (FOX)

Broncos (5-5) at Chargers (4-6) 4:15PM ET (CBS)

Patriots (6-3) at Eagles (4-6) 4:15PM ET (FOX)

Steelers (7-3) at Chiefs (4-5) 8:20PM ET (CBS)

 Monday November 28

Giants (6-4) at Saints (7-3)8:30PM ET(ESPN)

Lloyd Vance is the Editor  for Taking It to the House , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).  Lloyd can be reached on Twitter @lloydvance_nfl

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